Album cover - Oops All Computer by Lachlan Macleod

Album retrospective: Oops All Computer

My fourth album, Oops All Computer, was released on 30 June 2024 (on Bandcamp at least). As with the previous albums, I put it out using DistroKid, so Spotify, YouTube Music, Apple Music, and other streaming platforms.

It’s made up of tracks I put out on my Soundcloud between January 2023 and June 2024, although I only put “Alas,” up on Soundcloud on the album’s release night.

The album cover is a photo I took of the art installation LESS at Dairy Road in Fyshwick.

The name comes from the second track. I considered naming the album after RE: Miniscence, as Oops All Computer was a bit more obvious a reference, but I went with Oops All Computer in the end.

The pieces in this album were all made using either SunVox (a free music tracker/synthesiser program by NightRadio), or Ableton Live 10 Lite. During this time, Humble Bundle had a few software bundles that included synthesisers from Cherry Audio, which I purchased and enjoyed using.

Ninj4: The Fourth Ninja

Ninj4: The Fourth Ninja is a remake of a piece of music I made long ago (the first version being from around 2001-2003).

You can listen to all four versions in this Soundcloud playlist, but here’s a mini-history:

The first Ninja was written in Noteworthy Composer, a piece of notation software that could output to midi. My friend (a programmer) asked me to write some music for the game she was making, and I eagerly and quickly put some bloops together. It is a vital early memory for me of getting positive feedback from someone whose opinion I valued, and feeling somewhat competent (even though I wasn’t great at programming).

My intention with the first Ninja was to approximate the limitations of a Gameboy sound chip, with only four simultaneous tracks. I’m pretty sure there are more than four consecutive tracks in some parts, but it’s more about the vibe…

Ninja 2: The Sequel to Ninja came about as I was learning to use Fruity Loops (now known as FL Studio). At the time it felt like a great improvement, but now I think it’s the weakest of the four. I did add some twinkly bits that made it into Ninj4 though.

Ninja 3: Return to Ninja was made in SunVox. I tried to recreate the simpler feeling of the first Ninja, with only limited instruments, but with more clarity.

Ninj4: The Fourth Ninja was created in Ableton 10 Live Lite, using mostly Cherry Audio synthesisers. I added more complexity to the piece this time, with evolution over the track, and including more instruments.

The track was also partially inspired by the track Bad Apple!!, which I was introduced to by a video by Sebastian Lague (Bad Apple, But it’s a Fluid Simulation). I really liked the driving bass and repetitive drums of Bad Apple, and thought I might be able to replicate it in Ableton.

Oops All Computer

This track was partially inspired by a video by Look Mum No Computer (aka Sam Battle), where he synchronised three old Macs and played sequences of different lengths with each one, causing a complex interplay of melodies.

I’d done something similar in a previous piece (Siddhartha, then inspired by the Antichamber soundtrack and Terry Riley’s A Rainbow in Curved Air), but decided to try again. I put the piece together in SunVox 2.1c.

I added an operatic lead to tie it all together, using SunVox’s touch Theremin feature to make it wobbly and manual, contrasting with the very precise and mathematical repeating bloops.

The operatic lead ended up being almost my favourite part of the tune, with more leads coming in to form a Flower Duet-esque melody two thirds of the way through the piece.

Possibility of Precipitation

Possibility of Precipitation started out as a Risk of Rain soundtrack tribute, but in the end it doesn’t sound much like the Risk of Rain soundtrack at all.

I wrote this in SunVox 2.0e. Mucked around with some arpeggios, a growling bass, and an airy lead. I’m happy with the chord progression of this one.

Papaver Id Est Alta

This piece was a meditation on allowing myself to be proud of my work. Or more, for embracing the messiness of creation.

I recorded more external elements in this piece than most of the other tracks on this album, with my Yamaha Reface CS (analogue synthesiser keyboard), a bass guitar, an electric guitar, and some backing Ahs recorded through my gaming headset, recording in Ableton Live 10 Lite.

The drums are Spitfire Abe Laboriel Jr drums, for the closest I could manage to the sound of a real kit (perfect quantisation notwithstanding)

The title is theoretically Latin for “poppy that is tall,” as it was my response to Tall Poppy Syndrome, which is an Australian and New Zealand cultural tendency to pull down people who are overly self-aggrandising.


This track was finalised as I was putting the album details into Bandcamp and DistroKid. At some point I bought a Humble Bundle with a few Cherry Audio synthesisers in it, and figured I should make a track using them.

I used one of the drum sets packed in with Ableton Live 10 Lite for this piece, and they worked fairly well I think.

A friend suggested I put a comma in the title of this album, which at the last minute inspired the title of this piece. I do enjoy the very light grammatical anarchy reflected in a title ending in a comma.

RE: Miniscence

This is one of the pieces of music of which I am most proud. I was trying for a bittersweet, kind of sugary sad feeling, and I think I achieved it.

While I was playing the main Theremin lead part, I had a story in my head. The main lead starts off tired, with a low tone, not moving much, but wishing it could move more, and higher.

It slowly builds energy, enough energy to fly a bit. Halfway through the song, it is joined by a second lead, inspired by the first lead’s melody. The two sing in unison, reaching heights the first lead couldn’t alone, until the first lead starts to run out of energy. Finally, the lead returns to a relaxed state, having achieved the heights it wished for.

The piece was written in Ableton Live 10 Lite, mostly using Cherry Audio synthesisers:

Ovine Robo-Somnology

In trying to finish up a few more pieces of music so I could put out this album, I found an old(ish) SunVox file in which I had put together a collection of complex multi-synth instruments and an eight bar loop. I filled the piece out to full length, adding some more high echoing bloops.

The file was called “Android Dreaming,” a pretty obvious reference to Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep. I think I’d been trying for a Blade Runner sound. The piece ended up not sounding very Blade Runner, but I titled it in reference anyway (Ovine Robo-Somnology meaning sheep-related study of robot sleep).

The piece was finished in SunVox 2.1.1c, but probably started in an earlier version.

Sometimes the Chaos Stays Chaos

This is a ridiculous and messy piece of music, and was recorded on the same evening as Papaver Id Est Alta, with a similar ethos, and similar instruments (Ableton Live 10 Lite, Yamaha reface CS, bass guitar, electric guitar, Abe Laboriel Jr drums)

I wanted to see if I could still play in 7/8 time. The answer is yes, although it’s hard to keep track of!